Re: This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #yizkorbooks

Jill Whitehead

Up until 1919 and the WW1 Peace Settlement, and for most of the 19th century, Kalvaria was part of the Suwalki Lomza gubernias in NE Poland. Many people from Kalvaria and the other main towns in Suwalki Lomza emigrated to the UK, Sweden and France between about 1860 and 1880, as they lived close to the Baltic (on the borders with Konigsberg in East Prussia), which made it easier.

All my 8 great grandparents and one great great great grandparent came from the Suwalki Lomza gubernias to Northern England or Scotland, between 1865 and 1875. They also came to escape the outcomes of the Polish uprising against the Tsar in 1863 and the subsequent enforced enlistment of Jewish boys into the Tsar's army for 25 years - two of my great grandfathers came to escape these two factors respectively.

Many of my family members in the first generation married into other Suwalki Lomzers,  and my own family and other branches by marrage had relations in other countries such as the USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Sweden. 

I visited Kalvaria and other Suwalki Lomza towns when I went to the ancestral area in 2000, on both sides of the current Polish/Lithuanian border. Before 1919, Suwalki Lomza also included some towns now in the Grodno area of Belarus, and some that went into East Prussia between the wars, and are now in Kaliningrad.

Jill Whitehead nee Servian, Surrey, England
Formerly on the Editorial Board of the Suwalki Lomza SIG journal Landsmen (now defunct)


Serwianski from Sejny and Lake Serwy, Servian from Liverpool
Karpowitz from Krasnopol, near Sejny and Liverpool
Ceglarski later Abrahams/Abrams from Suwalki and Manchester
Grymblat later Lewis from Suwalki and Manchester
Brin later Brown from Vishtinetz (Yiddish)/Wiestieniec (Polish)/Vistytis (Lith)/Wistitten (Ger) now in Lithuania, and Edinburgh
Rubenstein or Berenstein  from Vishtinetz (Yiddish)/Wiestieniec (Polish)/Vistytis (Lith)/Wistitten (Ger) now in Lithuania, and Edinburgh
Guttenberg now Graham from Rajgrod in Lomza gubernia and Hull/Grimsby/Sheffield
Plotnowski/Plottnovsky later Jacobs from Raczki in Suwalki gubernia and Hull

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